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Rhetorical appeals,

strategies, and devices

Paraphrasing, Notes
and Questions
People stand in the street in lower Manhattan Sunday,
Sept. 11, 2011, during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of
the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011,
outside the World Trade Center site in New York.
I thought about George Washington when I was at the
airport this weekend, watching women in Islamic headscarves
brave the stares and scowls of some of their fellow Americans on
an anniversary no one will ever forget.
I wonder if a similar feeling prompted Moses Sessius, the
leader of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island to
write George Washington a letter shortly after he assumed the
Presidency. It was a letter essentially asking whether Sessius and
his people Jews would be safe in this new nation, or if they
would be hounded and hated, blamed for crimes they did not
commit.
In his response, Washington put on paper words that I
think still define the essence of our nation:
The Government of the United States gives to bigotry no
sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who
live under its protection should demean themselves as good
citizens.
In this new nation, the new president was saying, people would
have their identities respected, their freedoms protected, their
safety secured. They would be encouraged to cultivate good
relationships with fellow citizens from other backgrounds, no
matter the tensions and conflicts in the lands from which they
came. And they would be invited and expected to contribute
to the common good of their country.
Washington came to his views through both principle and
practical experience. As the leader of the Continental Army, the
first truly national institution, Washington recognized he was
going to need the contributions of all willing groups in America.
Back then, it was a common anti-Catholic practice to burn the
Pope in effigy. Washington banned this, and other anti-Catholic
insults within the Continental Army, and wrote: At such a
juncture, and in such circumstances, to be insulting their Religion,
is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused.
Washington brought this ethic to his private life. When
seeking a carpenter and a bricklayer for his Mount Vernon estate,
he remarked: If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia,
Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians

of any Sect, or they may be Atheists. What mattered is what they


could build.
Wars between clans and tribes, tension between sects and groups,
prejudice directed at religion or nationality those were the
problems of past centuries. And whether you are reading the news
about Somalia or Libya or Europe or Oklahoma, those are the
problems of our time.
Washington wanted America to stand for something
different: not the old idea that we are better apart, but the high
hope that people from the four corners of the earth could do
remarkable things together, even build a nation, and show
humanity that we are better together. Respect, relationship and
service to the common good that was Washingtons ethic, the
three pillars on which he believed a diverse democracy would
thrive.
In a too-seldom read sermon called Remaining Awake
Through A Great Revolution, Martin Luther King Jr
summarized the story of Rip Van Winkle. He mentioned the
details we all know old man goes up the mountain, falls asleep
for many years, grows a long beard. But King pauses on one detail
we might have passed over: When Rip Van Winkle went up the
mountain, he passed an Inn with a picture of King George III, the
English monarch. When he came down the mountain some years
later, the Inn was still there, but the picture had changed: it was
now of George Washington. America had gone from living under
a dictator to living in a democracy.
What strikes me about Kings use of George Washington
as a symbol of democracy is that Kings great-great grandparents
could well have been owned by General Washington. The man
who welcomed Jews and Catholics into the nation, the man who
spoke of a government that gave bigotry no sanction and
persecution no assistance, he was a slaveholder.
King knew this. But it neither paralyzed him nor made
him cynical. He didnt tie himself into knots trying to untie that
mother of all contradictions. Instead, he committed himself, body
and soul, to shaping the future.
Americas genius is to give its diversity of citizens a stake in the
well-being of the nation. Thats what keeps us facing forward,
seeking inspiration from the past when possible, correcting
mistakes when necessary. This nation could well have been a
house divided, but today we stand as one and that has
everything to do with how a previous generation, led by Abraham
Lincoln, acted. This nation could easily have been declared a lie by
an entire race of people kidnapped and enslaved, separated out
and hunted down. Instead King and his movement termed it a

broken promise, one that the people on the receiving end of the
breach took actions to mend.
As a nation, weve spent the last several weeks trying to
decipher the meaning of the last ten years. Thats as it should be;
those who were lost on that day deserve that and much much
more.
As I looked out at the Freshman Class at George
Washington University on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, they
represented for me the next ten years, and the decades after. Here
was my message to them:
Yes, be a part of the conversation, but more importantly,
take part in action. Dont forget, the people who talk for a living
talk about the people who act.
For sure, ask big questions; but also make deep
commitments to your faith or philosophy, to the nation and the
world, to the earth and to each other.
Debate the meaning of the events of past decades and
centuries, but above all, shape the arc of the future.
When you serve, you are part of the future. When you dream, you
are part of the future. When you build bridges that show we are
better together you lower the barriers that make people believe we
are better apart.
When you are wronged, in ways both small and large,
remember what Martin Luther King Jr said in the waning days of
the Montgomery Bus Boycott, after the African-Americans of that
city had endured a year of walking to work, of facing false arrests
and very real death threats, King gave a speech about looking
forward, about building the nation: Now is the time for
redemption, now is the time for reconciliation, now is the time to
build the beloved community.
Citation

Patel, Eboo. "After Sept 11, 2011, Focus on the next 10 Years OnFaith."OnFaith. N.p., 12 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 July 2015.

Rhetorical Analysis Practice Eboo Patel Making the Future Better Together
Remember to answer in complete sentences and explain your answer with evidence from the text.

1. Which rhetorical strategy is being utilized by the author?


2. Which rhetorical device is being utilized in these quotes?
The Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,
requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens.

In this new nation, the new president was saying, people would have their identities respected, their
freedoms protected, their safety secured.
When you serve, you are part of the future. When you dream, you are part of the future. When you
build bridges that show we are better together you lower the barriers that make people believe we
are better apart.

3. Which rhetorical appeal is being utilized the most in the text?


4. Which rhetorical device is most used in the piece?
5. What idea of the human condition is this addressing?
6. What commentary is being made about that idea of the human condition?
7. What is the main point/purpose of the text?
8. What answer does this text offer for one of the essential questions?
i.

Why should people come together to find common ground to do what is mutually beneficial?

ii. How should people come together to do what is mutually beneficial?


iii. What steps can people take to find common ground to do what is mutually beneficial? How does
this piece qualify, challenge, or defend the points made in previous works read in the class?

9. How does this piece qualify, challenge, or defend the points made in previous works read in the class?
10. After reading a speech you will be asked to address how the author uses rhetoric to achieve her/his purpose.
Include at least three pieces of evidence from the text that correlate with a rhetorical terms. In the (genre)
(title) by (author), (the author) uses (rhetorical appeal, strategy, and device) to (purpose--NOT
SUMMARY)
ELAGSE9RI1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
ELAGSE9RI2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and
refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. ELAGSE9RI4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a
text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the
language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper). ELAGSE9RI5 Analyze in detail how an authors ideas or claims are developed and refined
by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter). ELAGSE9RI6 Determine an authors point of view or purpose
in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. ELAGSE9W2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine
and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content..
LAGSE9W9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research b. Apply grades 910 Reading Standards to
literary nonfiction (e.g., Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is
relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning).